Career Fair Puts Future in Focus for Optometry Students

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May 08, 2023 | Downers Grove, IL

Students from Midwestern University’s Chicago College of Optometry participate in an inaugural career fair on the Downers Grove Campus.

Students from Midwestern University’s Chicago College of Optometry (CCO) focused on their future at an inaugural Career Fair on the Downers Grove Campus. More than 20 different future employers and sponsors traveled to campus to speak with CCO students.

“We wanted to give our students the opportunity to explore various career options, meet prospective employers, and start to establish professional relationships,” said John Gialousakis, O.D., Ed.M., FAAO, Director of Curriculum Development and Associate Professor, Chicago College of Optometry. “We hope our students were able to explore and learn more about various professional paths and opportunities within optometry, and to practice networking and professional behaviors.”

As part of the Career Fair, students heard from invited speakers, representing private practice and corporate optometry, who provided valuable insights about practice management, optometric ownership, non-traditional career paths, and unique approaches to practicing optometry. “I learned a lot about business and how to run a business effectively and efficiently from our wonderful speakers at the event,” said Brooke Major (CCO 2025), a second-year optometry student. “It was also an amazing opportunity to network with so many different people and companies. I am glad I went as a second-year student to start planning and networking now.”

The recruiters in attendance represented various optometric private practices, corporate entities, and healthcare organizations. “I work with Warby Parker as the Talent Acquisition Manager for Optometry. We're here because we're hiring doctors in the Chicagoland area and across the US,” said Briana Navarro. “We have had the pleasure of speaking with CCO alumni in the past and we’re excited to talk with more students who are actively enrolled and who may be looking to practice with us in the future.”

In addition to providing opportunities to network with industry professionals, the career fair also allowed students to learn more about the wide range of career opportunities available to optometrists. “The career fair was by far the best way to get connections and opportunities for my future path in optometry. I learned that my future has so many more opportunities than I really could've imagined,” said Roman Somogy (CCO 2025), a second-year optometry student. “There is something about getting to meet people and hear what they have to say about their different programs, whether that be corporate optometry, private practice, OD/MD, or even the Army! The career fair has helped me find the best fit for me, and even if that changes within the next two years before I graduate, I now know exactly where I'd want to go with more certainty than I would have before.”

Optometry students can look forward to the career fair returning to the Downers Grove Campus on an annual basis. At the Chicago College of Optometry, students learn the skills needed to be successful, compassionate, patient-centered optometrists able to diagnose, treat, and manage a variety of ocular dysfunction, disease, and care. “The biggest thing I learned from the career fair is that I will be ready on day one for my career after I graduate, and that’s all due to the opportunities and connections that were only possible because of CCO and the career fair,” Roman added.